Summary: Is thier a right way to Pray.

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1. The Audience verse 9

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:

Jesus in this parable targets those in the crowd around Him who were self-assured (who trusted in themselves) and were convinced that they were good people pure and ethical before God. They were so arrogant of their moral standing before God that they looked down their noses on others who they think are not “spiritual.”

Galatians 6:3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

2. Two Men verse 10

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

A. Pharisee

Object Lesson: Dirty Cup (a cup that is clean on the outside but dirty on the inside)How would you like a nice, cool drink from this cup? Do you really think you would? It is a nice cup, isn’t it? And it does look clean, but I’ve only shown you the outside, Look at the inside. Now, nobody wants to drink.

A Pharisee was a member of the Jewish faith. They were the most highly esteemed group in Jewish society. They were church goers of their time who attended every Bible study, prayer meeting. They tried to obey every law of the faith.

The Pharisee knew how to pray. They applied themselves to the art of prayer (they made it their hobby). Jesus tells us in

Matthew 23:14 ["Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, even while for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you shall receive greater condemnation.]

Matthew 6:5-8 "And when you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, in order to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. [6] "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. [7] "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. [8] "Therefore do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.

We today when we hear “Pharisee” automatically we think of them as bad religious people, but during those days they were honored members of the Jewish community in order to fully understand this parable. They were the good guys, the best of the best, the crème of the crop. The apostle Paul was a Pharisee.

B. Tax Collector

A tax collector was at the other end of the spectrum, the community considered them as monsters or traitors. Josephus the famous Jewish historian describes them “as despicable.” In today’s culture, the closest social equivalent would be drug pushers and pimps, those who prey on society, who make money off others’ bodies and make a living of stealing from others.

Note: Rome imposed taxes on its conquered peoples, but the collection of those taxes was delegated to private Roman contractors (tax farmers), who then employed Jewish underlings to do the dirty work, their pay being whatever extra they could extort from their fellow Jews.

3. Two Prayers verses 11-12

The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ’God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. [12] I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

A. Pharisee’s Prayer

He stands – prays only with himself and thank God for making him what he is. In other words the Pharisee prayed this way “O Lord its hard to be humble when I see how rotten other are compared to me. Thank you Lord I’m not like those people, you know, people who steal, who do bad things and who cheat on their wives or even like this guy over there who works for the IRS.

He Brags about His Religious Activities Read verse 12. Yes Lord I am one of the very, very few who does more than even the law requires. The Pharisee fasted—without water, despite the health hazard—two full days a week (Mondays and Thursdays), at least during the dry season. Pharisees were meticulous about tithing to the full extent one could infer from the law (several different tithes, together constituting more than 20 percent of one’s income).

B. Tax Collector’s Prayer

He Stands from afar He stood way at the back of the temple, out of sight.

He Feels Undeserving to Face God He was full of shame the he couldn’t approach the Holiness of God. He recognized How holy God is and How unholy He Is. When the prophet Isaiah saw the Holiness of God, his response was

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